The Mike Trout Award (Team MVP) - Mike Trout
I almost named this the Miguel Cabrera award just to be ironic. Trout is the best, he is going to be the best for a long time. The award is his until further notice and shall remain named in his honor for the rest of time.
Honorable Mention: Mike Trout, he's just that good
Just the mere mention of Blanton inspires a visceral reaction amongst Angel fans. What made his epic horribleness so difficult to stomach was that it was so predictable. From the moment he signed fans were ready for him to fail. Nobody thought he would be this bad, but let's just say the pump was primed by virtue of Blanton not being the pitcher that each fan had hoped the Angels would sign instead (i.e. Brandon McCarthy). Then he started with all of his comments about he wasn't going to change and just assumed things would get better. Things didn't get better.
Honorable Mention: Josh Hamilton
Seriously, how long is it going to take for Mike Scioscia to realize that Kevin Jepsen cannot be counted on as a late-inning reliever? It isn't like this is the first season where he has melted down. At least he had the good manners to get himself hurt before he could do more damage
Honorable Mention: Michael Kohn aka Kevin Jepsen Jr.
If there is one singular in-season decision that the Angels should want a do-over on is the decision to yank Garrett Richards from the rotation back in May. Ostensibly moved into the bullpen because of their depth issues in relief, he never really got much of a chance to take on a big role in the bullpen, which kind of defeated the point. Then he came back to the rotation and immediately became that third reliable starter the team had been looking for the whole season. Oops!
Honorable Mention: Hank Conger
The Knock Knock Award (player who spent too much time in the minors) - Kole Calhoun
Some Ranger bloggers had a joke last season that went like this: Knock. Knock. Who's there? Mike Trout spent a month in the minors. While it wasn't nearly on the same scale, one can't help but wonder what would have been had the Angels called up Kole Calhoun earlier in the season. Kole was very solid in the 222 plate appearances he did get, so knowing that J.B. Shuck got over twice that amount of playing time, it makes me wonder if Calhoun could have helped out more than Shuck did both as an injury replacement and as an alternative to a slumping Hamilton or ailing Pujols.
Honorable Mention: None because this farm system is terrible.
It isn't weird or patchy, but it just doesn't look right. Sorry, Mark.
Honorable Mention: J.B. Shuck's stubble
The ??? Award (biggest distraction) - Arte Moreno
Seriously, Arte. Don't leave the whole franchise twisting in the wind for nearly three months. Fire someone or don't. Just make a damned decision.
Honorable Mention: Albert Pujols
A 34-year old who hasn't been useful since 2009, I honestly can't believe that the Angels couldn't find someone with even a tiny bit of upside to use off the bench. What kills me is that they actually had to use Hawpe to pinch-run at one point.
Honorable Mention: Daniel Stange
The Garret Anderson Yawning Award (player most accused by fans of "not caring") - Josh Hamilton
Was it a loss of bat speed? Was it his weight loss? Was he just mental about switching teams and cities? None of the above. According to many an apparently psychic Angel fan, Josh Hamilton sucked this season because he doesn't care about winning. If only he cared he could've hit 40 homers and carried the Angels to a World Series. That non-caring sonuvabtich.
Honorable Mention: Joe Blanton
The Evil Monkey Award (player who inspires the most irrational hatred in me) - J.B. Shuck
I've belabored the point about the fact that the gritty, undersized, speedy guy who works good at-bats is not that undersized, not really that fast and doesn't take good at-bats. I'll save you another rant. You get it.
Honorable Mention: Juan Gutierrez and his stupid crooked hat
OK, now for the actual real awards. As part of my membership in the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I am required to write a post with my award ballot. You can find that below.
1) Mike Trout
2) Miguel Cabrera
3) Josh Donaldson
AL Cy Young
NL Cy Young
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So...you're saying the Angels would have been noticeably better had they signed Brandon McCarthy rather than Joe Blanton? After looking at his 2013 stats I'd have to think not. I'll stand by my assertion that Blanton was signed due to the dearth of talent available. I have to admit that I was pulling for the McCarthy signing but I'd have to guess their choice was due to Blanton's general good baseball health as opposed to McCarthy's penchant for suffering potential career-ending injuries at least once a year. They took a chance. It didn't work. Let's move on, shall we?
Good Lord. Never write anything while watching Sleepy Hollow.